Latest from The Spokesman-Review
About 150 gathered for U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell’s campaign rally this evening in Spokane at the Lincoln Center.
There wasn’t much we haven’t heard on the trail before, so here are a few miscellaneous thoughts:
— The Democrats appear enthused about the race for Congress. Sure, it’s still somewhat of long-shot for them and Democrat Rich Cowan did not come near to raising the $1 million he said was his goal when he began his campaign for the seat in Washington’s 5th Congressional District.
But he’s not Daryl Romeyn, who was the party’s nominee two years ago and who was not embraced by the party. Cowan has raised enough to advertise on TV and he even got a mention recently in the Capital Hill newspaper, Roll Call.
Washington Democrats got together recently to give out awards, and the prize for "Rising Star" went to former legislative and congressional aide Marcus Riccelli, a current candidate for the state House of Representatives.
One might think that Democrats might want to hold off on proclaiming stardom until Riccelli actually beat Republican Tim Benn for that seat — imagine something akin to the political equivalent of the Sports Illustrated cover jinx — but apparently they believe the 3rd Legislative District is blue enough that winning the primary makes him a sure bet in November.
To mark the occasion, two of his former bosses, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell and state Sen. Lisa Brown, performed a Saturday Night Live "Weekend Update" style tribute to Riccelli. While it has a few good lines and cute bits — notice the big map behind them is a state map — it makes clear that Cantwell and Brown should not quit their day jobs.
But wait a minute. Brown actually did quit her day job as Senate Majority leader, and the dominoes that fell, with Rep. Andy Billig running for her seat created the opening that Riccelli is trying to fill. So cancel that. Let's just say that when Brown figures out her next career, it probably won't be in standup comedy.
Spokane City Councilman Jon Snyder ended his campaign for state House on Thursday and endorsed Marcus Riccelli in the November election.
Snyder conceded after the third day of counting in Tuesday's primary showed that Republican Tim Benn's hold on second place getting more secure.
Riccelli, a Democrat, was the top-vote getter in the race for an open House seat in Spokane's 3rd Legislative District. The top two candidates face each other in the general election.
The Spokane County Elections Office counted about 500 ballots in the race today. Out of the more than 24,000 ballots cast in the 3rd Legislative District, only about 1,500 are left to count.
In today's count, Benn's lead for second place over Democrat Snyder grew slightly to 426. His lead over former Spokane City Councilman Bob Apple, also a Democrat, increased to 565.
After the first day of counting, Benn, Snyder and Apple were within 100 votes.
The election's office won't resume counting until Monday.
With only around 2,000 votes left count in Spokane's 3rd Legislative District, Republican Tim Benn nearly has a lock on a second-place finish to compete for a state House seat in the November election.
Democrat Marcus Riccelli easily topped the four other candidates running for the seat, but Benn and Democrats Bob Apple and Jon Snyder were within 100 votes of each other for the right to move on with Riccelli iin the general election after the first round of counting on Tuesday.
In Wednesday's count, Benn surged and now has a lead of more than 400 over Snyder and more than 500 over Apple. The third round of counting will be completed later today.
Marcus Riccelli is comfortably in first place in the 3rd District House race, but three candidates are bunched up in the race for second place and a spot on the general election ballot.
As this map shows, Riccelli owes his first place standing to doing well in the western and southern precincts of the district. Bob Apple ran strong in the northeast portions of the district, which correspond closely to his old council district. Tim Benn won a few of his precincts big, and Jon Snyder was strongest in the precincts in or near his south Spokane Council District.
For a closer look at the map, check out the PDF file.
About 24,000 people voted in Spokane's 3rd Legislative District in Tuesday's primary election, according to election statistics that include ballots received in today's mail.
So far, about 17,000 of those votes have been counted. That means the second-place battle for state House among Democrats Bob Apple and Jon Snyder and Republican Tim Benn to determine who will face Democrat Marcus Riccelli hinges on more than 7,000 uncounted votes.
The second round of counting will start at 3 p.m., Spokane County Elections Manager Mike McLaughlin said. New results will be posted after 5 p.m.
After an intense three-month campaign, the race for a state House seat representing central Spokane only revealed the first- and last-place finishers.
The three candidates in between will have to wait at least through the end of the week – and perhaps through a round of recounting – to determine who will face top vote-getter Democrat Marcus Riccelli in November.
Two of the three possible challengers to Riccelli also are Democrats and offer intriguing general election matchups.
Former Spokane City Councilman Bob Apple, a Democrat and former Republican, appeals to some Republicans and even won the endorsement of the Spokane Home Builders Association during the primary. With a solid base of support in northeast Spokane, he could offer a formidable challenge to Riccelli – though he would have to massively step up his efforts to match Riccelli’s financial support and professional organization.
Current Spokane City Councilman Jon Snyder holds nearly identical views on the issues as Riccelli and is popular with the Democratic Party, but faltered as the party’s establishment fell in line behind Riccelli, who was Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown’s choice. Republicans would struggle to choose between the two, and Snyder would have to successfully woo them to win.
Day care center co-owner Tim Benn, as a Republican and first-time candidate likely would have significant difficulty in a race against Riccelli, as shown in two-person races between Democrats and Republicans in the district, including Tuesday’s primary for state Senate between Democrat Andy Billig and Republican Nancy McLaughlin. Billig has a nearly 20 percentage point lead over McLaughlin, who has won big in her nonpartisan races for Spokane City Council.
Tuesday is the last chance to mail your Washington primary ballot. If you live in central Spokane and are having a hard time deciding who to choose among the five candidates for the position 1 House seat in the 3rd Legislative District, try studying their stances on 15 issues in the following links:
And here are their responses to one of the questions The Spokesman-Review questionnaire:
8. Do you support the legalization of marijuana for adults, including for recreational purposes? If not, do you support the legalization of marijuana for medical use? How would you address the conflict that currently exists between state law allowing marijuana for medical use and federal law banning it?
Downtown Spokane businessman John Waite said Friday that he has decided not to run for the state House afterall.
Waite said earlier this month that he would run as a Democrat for the seat held by state Rep. Andy Billig, who is giving up his seat to run for state Senate.
With five candidates who have filed for the seat, Waite said he decided this afternoon that it already was too crowded and that the entry of former City Councilman Bob Apple would make the race more difficult because he was hoping for strong support in Apple's former council district in Northeast Spokane. Waite ran for Apple's seat last year.
Waite said he will support City Councilman Jon Snyder in the race because of Snyder's experience in small business and his work promoting sustainability.
"He fits my agenda as well as anybody," he said.
Everyone thinking about running for political office this year, take note: You have less than a week to make up your mind. Everyone talking about running and acting like they’re already a full-fledged candidate, take note: It’s not official until you file your paperwork and pay your fee.
Candidate filing week starts Monday morning, and ends when the office where that paperwork and fee must be deposited closes on Friday. Here’s a tricky part – because of budget cutbacks, some county elections offices close as early as noon on Fridays, others at 4 p.m., and some stay open until 5 p.m. Anyone planning to wait until the very last minute to build suspense would be wise to make a phone call to the appropriate office and check when that last minute is.
For some positions that’s the county elections office in the county seat; for others, it’s the Secretary of State’s office in Olympia. How do you know what goes where?
Go inside the blog to read more, or to comment.
The field to replace state Rep. Andy Billig is getting larger.
Former City Councilman Bob Apple today became the fifth person to say he will run for the Third Legislative District House seat that Billig is leaving to run for state Senate.
Apple, 56, joins Democratic candidates City Councilman Jon Snyder; downtown businessman John Waite; and Marcus Riccell, senior policy analyst to state Sen. Lisa Brown; and Republican candidate Tim Benn, a child day care center owner.
Apple left the City Council at the end of last year after finishing his second term. He was term limited from running again. He ran for the same House position in 2010 and finished third among four candidates in the primary.
A former roofer, Apple said he currently isn't employed and will be able to campaign full-time.
Apple is more conservative than many in the party. He opposed former Spokane Mayor Mary Verner's sustainability plan, for instance. He said he likely will vote against same-sex marriage in November, though he'll accept whatever the voters decide on that issue.
A Republican has entered the expanding field of candidates to replace state Rep. Andy Billig.
Tim Benn, who co-owns a child day care with his wife in North Spokane, filed paperwork with the state Public Disclosure Commission announcing his run earlier this week, even before Billig announced he wouldn’t run for reelection so he could run for state Senate.
Democrats who have announced that they will run include Marcus Riccelli, Jon Snyder and John Waite.
Benn, 34, has been active this year in lobbying against proposed day care regulations that he says will drive small day cares out of business.
“I decided to run because I believe in small business and I believe in the people of the 3rd Legislative District,” he said. “We’re regulating small businesses out of out of business.”
Benn’s day care is called Little Precious Ones.
John Waite, who has run several campaigns for state Legislature and City Council as an independent, announced Friday that he will run for the House seat that will be vacated by Andy Billig.
And this time, he'll run as a Democrat.
Waite, 47, is fiscally conservative but socially liberal. He has been a outspoken critic of the two-party system.
He said Friday he's just being realistic by picking a party. He found that when he campaigned as an independent, Republicans assumed he was a Democrat and Democrats assumed he was a Republican.
"We live in a broken, two-party world," he said. "I still bring an apolitical view to this — real world solutions, not party bickering."
Waite, who owns two downtown buildings and Merlyn's Comics and Games, said he identifies more with the Democratic Party, which he believes is more realistic about the problems faced by the community.